HONG KONG — Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic across its entire portfolio of luxury hotels by the end of March 2021.
The travel industry has made several recent commitments towards the removal of plastic straws and single-use drinking bottles. Mandarin Oriental plans to do its part in the luxury hotel segment and commit to a wider aim to abolish all single-use plastic currently in use across all operational departments, including rooms, spa, transport, restaurants, and bars. The aim is to cover plastics used in all areas of the hotel, and not just in the public areas that the customer sees.
To achieve this, the group has launched an elimination campaign. Having completed a thorough stock inventory, Mandarin Oriental identified 23 of the most common items of single-use plastic currently in use across the portfolio. To date, 86 percent of these initial items have been eliminated or are being phased out in all hotels, according to the group.
“Plastic waste is one of the gravest environmental concerns affecting our planet today. While our relatively small footprint limits our contribution to the world’s plastic reduction, as one of the most iconic luxury global hotel groups we are in a strong position to drive important changes in the industry,” said James Riley, chief executive. “We recognize that to achieve complete elimination while maintaining our luxury service standards is a challenge, but to drive change we must set ambitious goals. The elimination of single-use plastic is only one part of the group’s wider initiative to operate in a responsible and sustainable way across our portfolio.”
The efforts currently underway include testing concepts and inviting colleagues from every hotel to find solutions which can then be shared as best practice internally. Mandarin Oriental is also collaborating with its suppliers to drive responsible procurement and provide alternative products that are both viable and suitable for the luxury hotel environment.
All hotels have clearly-defined annual goals to address these issues. To remain accountable to guests, colleagues, and the wider community, progress reports will be issued every six months highlighting both their achievements and any difficulties encountered. The first report which will be published at the end of March 2020.